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NASCAR

Third Win of 2020 for Hamlin, 40th of Career

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA - JUNE 14: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Toyota, cross the finish line to win the NASCAR Cup Series Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 14, 2020 in Homestead, Florida. Michael Reaves | Getty Images

There was a lot of starting and stopping on Sunday at the Dixie Vodka 400 at Miami-Heritage Speedway. The race was delayed multiple times due to rain and lightning in South Florida.

The race was originally delayed 55 minutes after a rain shower started on one half of the track along with some local lightning strikes. After only 3 laps the race was given a red-flag stoppage due to a lightning strike in the area and delayed for 2 hours and 8 minutes. Once racing again, the drivers were stopped after another 25 laps for due to another lighting strike, delaying the race another 39 minutes.

Even with all of the weather delays, pole-sitter Denny Hamlin had himself a day in his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin ended up leading 137 of 267 laps, including the final 30. He became the first three race winner of 2020. Hamlin also became the first driver to win the first two stages of the the race and then take the checkered flag since Martin Truex Jr. did the same last October at Martinsville.

Chase Elliott finished 0.895 seconds behind Hamlin for second place while Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick finished 3rd and 4th.

The win leaves Denny Hamlin in 7th place in the Cup Series standings, 68 points behind season leader Kevin Harvick. Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. round out the rest of the top 7.

Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami was also the first race since the COVID-19 shutdown to have fans in the stands. Most of the 1000 guests were service men and women who were allowed to bring a guest.

The NASCAR Cup Series is back next week, June 21st for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

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